Critical Opalescence — Bridget Batch and Kevin Cooley

April 27th – June 28th


Spectral Lines announces its second exhibition, Critical Opalescence, featuring works by artists

Bridget Batch and Kevin Cooley.

Critical Opalescence brings together photography and video that responds to the alarmingly poor state of our relationship with nature, and the all-encompassing change of our climate that we are facing.

Batch and Cooley investigate spaces of unparalleled beauty across the United States, and consider

their current state of transformation.

Critical opalescence occurs during phase changes within physical compounds, such as liquid transforming

into gas, when, momentarily, the two states cannot be distinguished from each other, a process seemingly

caught in limbo, but already destined to change. In regards to climate transformation, we currently find

ourselves somewhere around that ultimate point of no return, and what has been set in motion on a global

scale decades ago is now visible and tangible everywhere around us (and even inside of us), if we choose

to see it.


Bridget Batch presents series of photographic prints which are the record of performances she has undertaken

on behalf of the camera from her ongoing project Rituals to Reveal Hidden Boundaries. Over the course of

hour long exposures, Batch dances and paces, repetitively retracing her steps while bearing colored lights that mark the film with the boundary she contemplates. The mysterious spectacle that appears in the landscapes

highlights and blurs invisible lines between what we generally term human-made. Batch performs these photographs in meditation and repetition in order to underline a presence that's unseen, historical,

transcendental, or mysterious and potentially transformative. Her traced movements serve as symbolic and

humble attempts to connect with, or else to emphasize, the meaning imbued within the locations.


Kevin Cooley’s High Water Mark explores the confluence of demands placed on the water of the Colorado River

at Lake Powell and Lake Havasu. These two large reservoirs tame the Colorado River to create a reliable water supply for millions of people throughout the Southwest while simultaneously offering “unparalleled opportunities

for water-based recreation,” according to the National Park Service. The video depicts remote and desolate

canyons of Glen Canyon, now exposed by the declining water levels of Lake Powell, juxtaposed against furious motor boating activity along the Parker Strip at Lake Havasu.


The slow-paced scenes of High Water Mark focus on the texture and scenic beauty of cathedral-like corridors and iconic waterways, punctuated by the disruptive sounds of motorized human presence in the otherwise silent desert landscape. The manipulation of these landscapes through the Colorado River Storage Project — a series of midcentury public works projects by the Bureau of Reclamation — secured the future of the American West, yet with declining water levels, and rapidly increasing evaporation rates, the conversation of how to best return these lands back to nature has already begun.



Through photography, installation and video, Bridget Batch pursues questions regarding alternate planes of consciousness and the nature of existence. She makes meditative artworks exploring our sense of connection in a world defined by modernization, consumption culture and environmental transformation.

Batch has exhibited internationally, and completed artist residencies at Italy’s Fabrica, Salem Artworks in Salem, NY, Tropical Lab 7 in Singapore, and at the Grand Canyon South Rim Program, among others. Her work was recently featured as part of De La Tierra a La Tierra, at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Quito, Ecuador. A frequent collaborator, Batch has worked with artists Kevin Cooley, Eve-Lauryn LaFountain, composer Jean-Luc

Sinclair, and within the collective neverhitsend. With neverhitsend, she launched the internet project Toggle at SEA 2015. Batch received a 2016 New York City Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and in 2017, she was nominated for the PDN 30. In 2014, Batch received her MFA from CalArts and she now works, and teaches, primarily in Los Angeles.


Cooley's work centers around a phenomenological, systems- based inquiry into humanity's contemporary relationship with the five classical elements – earth, air, fire, water, and aether. The resulting photographs, videos, and public installations look outward – examining the environment to observe experimental and performative gestures that seek to decipher our complex, evolving relationships to nature, technology, and each other. As his practice continues to evolve, he strives to challenge my own assumptions and deepen my

understanding of environment and materiality. His latest projects address the human perspective more directly, presenting a comprehensive view of our collective environmental concerns, questioning the long-term sustainability of present-day living, and revealing the struggles – both practically and psychologically – of inhabiting a planet we are slowly destroying.

Since 2014, he's held solo exhibitions at the Catharine Clark Gallery, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Kopeikin Gallery, The Museum of Photographic Arts, The Nevada Museum of Art, Pierogi, Ryan / Lee Gallery, The Savannah College of Art and Design, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. His work prominent public collections including The Cleveland Clinic, The Guggenheim Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of

Fine Arts Houston, 21c Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Nevada Art Museum, and The Museum of Photographic Arts.

Cooley lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Bridget Batch, Ritual, Owens Lake Performance No. 1, archival inkjet print, 2014, Courtesy of the artist.

Bridget Batch, Ritual, Owens Lake Performance No. 2, archival inkjet print, 2014, Courtesy of the artist.

Bridget Batch, Full Moon Ritual, San Pedro, archival inkjet print, 2013, Courtesy of the artist.

Bridget Batch, Nike Missile Control Site LA-96, archival inkjet print, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.

Bridget Batch, Ritual, San Andreas Fault, archival inkjet print, 2013, Courtesy of the artist.

Kevin Cooley, High Water Mark, video still, archival inkjet print, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.

Kevin Cooley, High Water Mark, video still, archival inkjet print, 2016, Courtesy of the artist.